GUN, the Activision-published PC and console title set in the nineteenth-century American West, is "derogatory, harmful and inaccurate". That's the view held by the Association for American Indian Development (AAID), which argues that the game portrays Native Americans in a negative light. Today, the organisation announced that it would be a leading a campaign to have content it deems as offensive removed from the game by Activision.
The AAID has even launched an online petition (boycottgun.com), arguing that the game "glorifies racism and genocide", and that GUN also commits the error of historical inaccuracy, with the association highlighting the "mis-information of American Indian traditions of 'killing' sacred white animals" as just one example of this.
If Activision fails to "remove all derogatory, harmful and inaccurate depictions of American Indians" from the game, the AAID is willing to campaign for the game to be removed from shop shelves worldwide. Only by editing the game "in a manner that is responsible to the great Apache people and is culturally and historically accurate to the struggle and plight of all people of American Indian ancestry" can Activision sidestep such a campaign.
Meanwhile, visiting the petition website we linked to above reveals the full extent of the AAID's argument, with the organisation expressing outrage over "a game where one must slaughter members of a racial group in order to move forward [and one that] promotes and condones the near genocide of Native Americans in this country." It continues, "If a game were created that had its hero slaughter, say African Americans, Irish, Mexicans, or Jews, would there not be an outcry of extreme proportions? We're not talking about generic bandits or outlaws who could be any race - this is a game that specifies the slaughter of a living, breathing existing racial group of human beings."
"Native people during this time were protecting their homeland, their way of life. Something that is instilled in good old American values. What's next, the Civil War era game where "The Hero" must capture and lynch runaway slaves? Of course not. That would be wrong. But apparently, killing Indians is still fair game. Native people still live here in America. They are not a lost or extinct people and they don't all live secluded on reservations. And, believe it or not, Indian kids play Xbox, too."
For its part, Activision has yet to comment.